Story By: KENNY SHUPP / WOODHULL RACEWAY – WOODHULL, NY – Woodhull Raceway’s, Terry and Niki Brewer finished off their third season as owners and promoters of the historic Steuben County New York oval with the Annual Awards Ceremony.
The traditional event once again played out right at the raceway in Woodhull, New York under sunny fall conditions and was attended by hundreds of drivers, car owners, crew members, track employees and sponsors.
A mouth-watering buffet dinner professionally catered by the Nikk L Brew Restaurant in Canisteo, NY was enjoyed by everyone in attendance under a massive tent covering provided by track marketing partner, Rent a Tent of Mansfield, Pa.
Track Announcer, Joe Cook along with Woodhull Raceway Public Relations Director, Kenny Shupp co-emceed the affair where numerous awards were presented to the top point getters in all eight of Woodhull’s weekly divisions of competition. In addition, Rookie of the Year and Sportsmanship Awards went out to several deserved competitors as well as four special awards to other honorees.
Shupp opened the event offering the year in review which included twenty one total events run in 2022 with only two shows on April 16 and May 7 lost to weather. The last nineteen events ran off without any postponements which was the direct opposite from 2021 where the track lost eight total shows to Mother Nature including a mid-August event where the entire downtown area of Woodhull was completely flooded out.
The Woodhull Raceway track preparation crew was acknowledged for providing a top notch surface week in and week out. With a drought season that lasted three months right in heat of summer, the crew worked tirelessly in making sure the high banked one third of a mile oval was fast and tacky with little or no dust every Saturday night.
As part of the 2022 schedule of events fifty-eight different drivers visited the Pepsi Victory Lane including numerous first time ever feature winners.
A pair of new events highlighted at Woodhull during the season including the Race of Remembrance Night on June 18 as all those that have passed away be it track employees or drivers were honored. Also, the first ever Honoring Alice Williams Night played out to a packed house on August 6 highlighted by a fifty lap, $5,500 to win Modified feature event which was the highest paying non-sanctioned Modified feature ever held on the high banked one-third of a mile clay oval. It was on that night where twenty-three time Woodhull Raceway Modified Track Champion, Billy VanPelt picked up the narrow win over eventual 2022 Modified Track Champion, Joe Dgien and then immediately announced his retirement in victory lane.
The Patriot 360 Sprints visited Woodhull on two occasions with the 600 Sprints and the Vintage Cars both make one lone appearance. In addition, several traditional events played out including the George and Jim Williams Memorial Events along with Police and EMS as well as Armed Forces Night.
King of the Ring one on one elimination races were runoff in the Modified, Sportsman, Street Stock, Late Model and Hobby Stock Classes as well as the Annual Christmas in July Bicycle Give-Away and Back to School Backpack Nights.
In addition to Joe Dgien in the Insinger Performance Modifieds other Track Champions included Isabel Barron in the NAPA Crate Sportsman becoming the first ever female to win a track title in the fifty-seven year history of the track. Brian Knowles in the Armstrong RUSH Crate Late Models and Brett Crawford in the Joe Willcox Performance Street Stocks both backed up there 2021 class titles. Also, Jason Warner was crowned champion in the Wicked Tee’s Mini Stocks, Wes Houghtaling in the Front Wheel Drives, Jeredd Dennis in the Hobby Stocks, his second consecutive title along with Bradly Morseman in the Wicked Tee’s Warriors.
All eight Track Champions were present to accept their six foot trophies with each interviewed by Joe Cook reviewing their 2022 season and outlining their plans for next year.
Rookie of the Year Awards went to Gregg Turner (Modifieds), Brett Marlatt (Late Models), Levi Riley (Sportsman), Kaiden Dgien (Hobby Stocks), Ryan Stone (Mini Stocks), Devin Doud (FWD).
Sportsmanship Awards were accepted by Brady Fultz (Modifieds), Jacob Tubbs (Late Models), Blake Lawson (Sportsman), Mike Williams (Street Stocks), Dillon Philip (Hobby Stocks), Jordan Costley (Mini Stocks), Kayley Bacon (FWD) and Jaden Stone (Warriors).
Woodhull Raceway General Manager, Mike Bills was presented with the Dedicated Employee Award. Bills came onboard to help steer the track one-third of the way into the season. Wearing many hats on race night as well as spending countless hours at the track during the week, Bills also competes as the driver of the Brad and Kim Herrington owned Modified. Lindy Goodier, wife of the late Art Goodier who succumbed to a heart attack while racing at Woodhull on June 25 received the Perseverance Award. It would be an understatement to say it was a horrific experience for Lindy and everyone else in attendance on that fateful night, but with support of the local race community Lindy Goodier continues to and move forward all the whiles still coping with the death of her popular husband. Track Photographer, Jen Martin picked up the Media Award as her aggressive style finds her handling multiple duties on race night. In addition to taking action photos and victory lane shots, she along with others head up the photo booth at the track.
Joe and Jean Willcox received the prestigious Dedication to Motorsports Award, an honor well deserved as they recently announced their retirement as class sponsor of the Street Stock Division after a fifteen year run. They plan to relocate to the Lancaster, Pa. area from their current residence in Westfield to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Joe and Jean Willcox have also been instrumental in creating the Junior Fan of the Week Award and the popular couple have also managed to turn the Annual Woodhull 100 season ending event for the Street Stock Division into one of the highest paying events in the region complete with thousands in lap money along with other contingency prizes. It was announced that the Seeley Family will take over the reigns of the Junior Fan Program with Southern Tier Customs of Woodhull assuming control as the headline sponsor of the popular Street Stock Division beginning in 2023.
A pair of subscriptions to Area Auto Racing News were presented to Champions Brett Crawford and Bradly Morseman via a random draw.
Congratulations to all award recipients!
Throughout the course of the awards ceremony track employees, marketing partners, volunteers, fire and rescue personnel among others were acknowledged for all their efforts during the season.
All trophies and plaques were professionally constructed by Chris Daugherty and his staff of Big Jim’s Wicked Tee’s in Pine Valley, New York.
Neil Stoddard, who was seriously injured on June 25 when struck by the Art Goodier machine in the infield area of turns three and four was present and took a few minutes to thank everyone for all their support and well wishes during his time of recovery.
Niki Brewer took to the podium and addressed the crowd thanking everyone for their participation over the past season. Even with the tough upstate New York economy, the Brewers were still able to put a quality show on a superb racing surface for the fans and driver’s week after week.
“We feel extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful group of drivers, crew members, fans, employees, and sponsors that continue to support the track, stated Brewer. We are anxious to get going on next year’s schedule of events which will start off with the Annual Woodhull Raceway Car Show in the Spring of 2023.”